Saturday, January 24
Update on the Hotmail situation: When I wrote the below rant, I wasn't aware of all the facts, so it's not entirely accurate (well, it is after all a rant). It's become obvious that Hotmail, at least for the time being, will remain blocked. I still think the situation was handled poorly, but there's little that can be done to change it now.

The best course of action that I can see is to try to get the block temporarily lifted for a few days, so that everyone who has a Hotmail account can deal with any messages they have waiting for them by this time, close their account, and sign up with a new service (or get an account through the school).

For what it's worth, every message I've ever received from a Hotmail account has a header named X-Originating-IP, which contains the IP address of the machine that the message originated from. This isn't foolproof, but AFAIK, it provides a means of tracing most Hotmail messages.

There's a new version of mIRC out, v5.31. No big changes this time, just some bug fixes.